Vigil for Orlando shooting victims in Punta Gorda

Posted at 10:25 PM, Jun 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 00:12:31-04

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - The Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce and the Kays-Ponger & Uselton Funeral home held a vigil in honor of the Orlando shooting victims.

It's a tragedy that's touched everyone in our entire country, regardless of if you knew any of the victims.

"Whether we're the LGBT community or the straight community, we're Americans," Dee Roberts of Kays-Ponger & Uselton Funeral Home said.

"That was pure, unadulterated evil that appeared in that night club, and we need to fight back. And if we don't stand up for one group, what's the next group that's going to fall?" Pamela Seay of Punta Gorda said.

Rainbow flags were flown outside the funeral home while people inside lit candles for Orlando.

Christian Orlando-Reno, 9, and his two brothers, Noah and Dominic, have been hugging their two dads a little tighter since the shooting.

"I'm lucky my dads are alive. If they were dead, I would be so, so, so, so sad," Christian said.

He and his two brothers showed their support by wearing shirts that said "I love my two dads."

Their two dads, Brian and Bill Orlando-Reno, showed their children that in the face of tragedy, you can only fight back.

"We kind of have to be here to prove that we're not going to stay behind closed doors and hide from it," Brian Orlando-Reno said. "We're going to be here."

The candles used in the vigil were sold to everyone who attended with all of the money going toward the funeral funds for the victims of the Orlando shooting.

The funeral home also had grief counselors and therapy dogs on site for people in need.